Rented: Book Review

By Barbara Morgenroth

The real thing or just rented for the summer? 

Cressida Avery wants to spend the months before her junior year in college healing the wounds from her last disastrous relationship. 

Everything changes when Garrison Light comes to town and buys a house. He’s handsome, wealthy and a “weekender” from the city. Weekenders look down on the locals and the resentment is mutual. 

Something in him calls out to her. Garrison is not like the others, not by a long shot and, even knowing he’ll be gone by Labor Day, Cress still can’t fight her desire to be with him. But nothing about Garrison is what it appears to be on the surface. 

Can Garrison help Cress get over Aaron? And will Cress need to get over Garrison? 

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Review: Cress distrusts the Weekenders--those city dwellers who only come to her small hometown of Tamarack on the weekends. And for good reason. She hates the way the Weekenders bustle into town, buying up property, expecting preferential treatment, and looking down on the full time residents. Garrison Light says he's different. He intends to stay in the house he buys, set down roots, and make it a real home. Cress tries to keep her heart protected. After a traumatic experience in an past relationship, she isn't ready to open her heart. Will Garrison prove he's not like the guy who broke Cress's heart? Or will he exceed her expectations?

New Adult romance is hot right now, and though I don't read a lot of it, I've read other books by this author and I know I can expect good, clean writing and unpredictable plot twists. As I read Rented, I thought maybe the author had decided to go for a good, old-fashioned, predictable romance. Nothing wrong with that. I had my four stars at the ready until I made it to the last few pages. Wow. Just, wow. I didn't see that coming. Morgenroth far exceeded my expectations with this ending. Talk about heart-stopping. No, I'm not going to spoil it by telling you what happened, but whatever you think it might be--trust me, it's not that.

The story isn't all about romance, though the relationship between Cress and Garrison is front and center. It's about finding yourself, overcoming self-doubt after an ego-crushing blow, and about cultural differences. It's about the unique relationship between the residents of tourist traps and the tourists who visit. It's also about snobbery and prejudgment. Yes, all these issues are explored at some level, because with the Morgenroth books I've read, there's always a deeper message. As Cress recovers and finds herself again, she learns her true worth and discovers that some differences defy understanding.

I would definitely recommend this book to New Adult readers, especially those who are looking for something a little different. Due to the subject matter, it's definitely intended for audiences 18 and older.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars